From cat urine to an honorable mention at the 2016 international photography awards

I found out today that I received two honorable mentions in the 2016 international photography awards. One for my series “Rio Infrared” and one for my series “The birth of clairvoyance” (see below).


I must say it is rather ironic that I would get an honorable mention for my Rio Infrared series, especially, as the one to blame for it is my cat Kumal.


When I travelled to Rio de Janeiro for the first time in 2015, I did not take much gear with me as I primarily wanted to concentrate on learning the language and exploring the not always safe city. Unfortunately, when I arrived my camera died just as I wanted to take a picture of a toucan in front of my window. My Canon 5D MIII could do no better than to display Error 20 on its LCD. Unfortunately, the camera never recovered. The only other digital camera I had was a 5D MII which had been converted for near infrared photography so it could only take infrared monochrome images.  So instead of my now dead camera, the IR camera accompanied  me to the Cristo Redentor and the botanical gardens where “Rio Infrared” came to be. This once again confirms “the best camera you have is the one you have with you”.


Back in Switzerland, Canon declared my 5D MIII had suffered damage from a liquid. That’s when it dawned on me that my camera had fallen victim to my cat, or should I say its urine. Cat urine is rather destructive it seems. One morning I found my camera in a puddle of urine – apparently my cat was not happy about the fact that I had been photographing other cats in the neighborhood. I of course cleaned my camera meticulously and dried it. It kept working fine for weeks after the urine attack (albeit with a slightly different odor), but apparently either the lower pressure in the airplane, the state of corrosion of its electronics or the massive temperature change caused it to fail just when I needed it in Rio. Luckily, my insurance paid for it when I explained what had happened. So in the end, it was because of my cat’s unruly behavior that I ended up with this series and ultimately the honorable mention.


The other honorable mention was produced entirely without cat urine.
Fine Art : Landscape
Rio Infrared
Rio Infrared - Stephan Brauchli - 2016 IPA

Fine Art : Nudes
The birth of clairvoyance
The birth of clairvoyance - Stephan Brauchli - 2016 IPA

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